Feelgood factor convinced Marius Zaliukas to sign on at Rangers

MARIUS ZALIUKAS admits his move to Rangers "feels right" after he clinched his return to Scotland last night.

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Scarf ace...Marius Zaliukas is delighted to be part of Rangers' journey back to the top flight of Scottish football
Scarf ace...Marius Zaliukas is delighted to be part of Rangers' journey back to the top flight of Scottish football

The former Hearts star has agreed a two-year contract at Ibrox and was the second new face unveiled by the champions after keeper Steve Simonsen returned to the club on a 12-month deal.

Zaliukas enjoyed a successful spell at Tynecastle and almost joined Ally McCoist's side last season, but turned down a deal with the Light Blues to join English Championship side Leeds.

Rangers will go head-to-head with the Jambos and Hibernian for the second tier title next term and Zaliukas is confident a return to Scotland will bring out the best in him once again.

"I think the league is going to be very interesting and I'm happy to be back in Scotland," he said.

"The lifestyle and mentality suits me best. I spent seven years in Scotland and I'm used to this country. To be honest it feels like home.

"Over there it was very different. When I came here on the first day it felt much better, and I spent six months there. On the first day it just felt right.

"I'm delighted the gaffer showed a lot of interest. I have a good relationship with him and I think everything is going to go well."

The capture of the former Tynecastle skipper is the latest bit of business in what has been a busy summer so far for McCoist as he reshapes his squad for a shot at Championship glory next term.

The 30-year-old is the second central defender to join the Gers during the close season after Darren McGregor made the move from St Mirren earlier this month.

McCoist can also call upon skipper Lee McCulloch, Bilel Mohsni, Seb Faure and youngsters Luca Gasparotto and Craig Halkett to fill the centre-back berths but the Lithuanian star isn't fazed by the competition for places.

Zaliukas said: "As many as possible you can get in one position, the better the challenge is in the training ground."

At the other end of the park, McCoist has reunited the prolific strike partnership of Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller after bringing the pair back to Ibrox for their second and third stints respectively.

Miller netted in the 3-0 win over Buckie Thistle last week while Boyd rescued a draw with a goal against Brora on Sunday and Zaliukas has backed the strike duo to play a huge role next term.

"I always hated to being play against them," he said. "Now we are playing on the one side.

"They are the most experienced players in the side and I think it's going to go well."

Football

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